Installing a mini data center could become a more sustainable way to heat public swimming pools in the UK. One data center, which is roughly the size of a laundry machine, has already been installed underneath a swimming pool in Devon County. Seven more similar setups are in the works across the UK, BBC News reports.
It’s a practical partnership that helps the pools and data centers solve expensive technical problems. Since most of the electricity computers consume is eventually released as heat, data centers need to cool down their hardware. Public pools need to heat themselves up but face skyrocketing energy costs that have pushed many pools in the UK to close.
“We see that supply and demand as two sides of the same coin,” Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, the tech firm that’s providing pools with data centers, told the BBC.
According to Bjornsgaard, 97 percent of the electricity that computers gobble up is ultimately spit back out as heat. That’s how data centers have become notorious for burning through huge amounts of energy and water used for cooling. In an effort to use fewer resources, companies like Microsoft have tried submerging their servers underwater and dunking them in liquid baths.